January 12, 2021
The Cypress Woods High School FFA horse judging team won the 2020 Horse Cup. Horse judging is a career development event offered through the National FFA Organization, which allows students to evaluate and rank horses based on breed characteristics, conformation and performance. Members of the winning team were, from left, 2020 graduate Thomas Binig, sophomore Grace Ehrenfeld, 2020 graduates Catie Halaska and Katelyn Morgan.
Jan. 12, 2021—The Cypress Woods High School FFA horse judging team won the 2020 Texas Horse Cup, with the victory based on the cumulative results of nine horse judging contests. Cypress Woods previously won the Horse Cup in 2018.
Members of the Cypress Woods horse judging team were sophomore Grace Ehrenfeld and 2020 graduates Thomas Binig, Katelyn Morgan and Catie Halaska.
Cypress Woods finished with 1,301 total points, beating the runner-up by 128 points. The Wildcats earned top-20 finishes in all nine contests they competed in.
“I could not be more proud of this horse judging team,” said Monica McClellan, Cypress Woods FFA and horse judging adviser. “They worked so hard and stayed flexible throughout all the changes and challenges 2020 has brought this horse judging season. There is not any other team that is more deserving of this award.”
Cypress Woods High School 2020 graduate Catie Halaska placed fourth overall in the individual Horse Cup rankings with 1,015 points. Halaska is the first Wildcat to have a top-10 individual finish.
Cypress Woods also had a top-10 individual finalist, with Halaska finishing fourth overall with 1,015 points.
Jersey Village High School 2020 graduate Cale Essman on the individual 2020 Horse Cup with 1,218 points. Essman had multiple top finishes at contests, helping him accumulate the highest individual points.
In addition to Cypress Woods’ team victory, Jersey Village High School 2020 graduate Cale Essman won the individual 2020 House Cup with 1,218 points. Essman was a member of the Jersey Village horse judging team for three years and had multiple individual top finishes at contests, helping him accumulate the highest individual points to win the honor.
“Cale is a true leader and led our horse judging team to many great successes,” said Amber Hibdon, Jersey Village FFA and horse judging adviser. “He set the bar high for other team members and every new member. Cale always made sure he was prepared for contests and encouraged the other team members constantly. Cale put in the time, dedication and hard work to succeed and we are so proud to see it pay off for him and to have him represent Jersey Village FFA so well.”
Horse Judging is a career development event offered through the National FFA Organization, which uses activities in both career and leadership development to help participating students become better individuals, teammates and leaders. Also known as horse evaluation, the event allows students insight into equine science by evaluating and ranking horses based on breed characteristics, conformation and performance.